Women’s Outerwear Guide

Women’s outerwear includes an array of spring, fall and winter garments to keep you warm, dry, and looking good. This women’s outerwear guide covers all the styles for every season.

Women’s Outerwear 101

Our ever-shifting climate demands different outerwear to handle unpredictable weather in any season. Transitioning from the damp breeze of spring to brisk snap of fall and icy plunge into winter means you’ll need a few different jackets and coats. A casual jacket can be a fashionable option that varies in style and material for breezy and cool weather. Women’s winter coats and gloves are appropriate for conditions from light snow to freezing. Athletic jackets and coats should be durable and water-resistant depending on the activity or climate. For cost-efficient and multi-functional outerwear, try a 3-in-1 jacket. Always look for a decent lining in women’s winter jackets for reliable insulation and comfort. The material you choose for your outerwear should match the occasion and the conditions you’re likely to face.

Types of Women’s Outerwear

Women's%20Coats

Women's Coats

A good coat should shield you from wind, moisture and snow — from your neck down to mid-thigh or lower. It must also provide warmth and comfort during the worst of winter while protecting the clothes underneath from the elements. Look for thick, lined garments that won’t restrict your movement. Important and useful features may include inner and outer pockets, a stylish, stand-up collar and insulated hood. A trench coat is a classic version of a raincoat and can be worn as a light overcoat in cool temperatures. It may have an optional, zip-out liner to adapt to colder conditions.
Women's%20Jackets

Women's Jackets

Winter jackets for women are indispensable for chilly days and nights, beginning in late fall. Jackets are more casual than coats and generally end at or just below the waist. You have a choice of materials including leather, denim and athletic-style, poly cotton blends for three-season wear. Insulated puffer jackets provide lightweight and comfortable cold weather protection while you’re running errands, commuting and getting in and out of the car. Draped, stand-up and high-ribbed collars are desirable features.
Women's%203-in-1%20Jackets

Women's 3-in-1 Jackets

A women’s 3-in-1 jacket is the ultimate in multi-purpose outerwear. This jacket contains a fleece, inner jacket that zips up like a turtleneck, and a water and wind-resistant outer shell with detachable hood. The two pieces can each be worn separately or together, giving you three wardrobe options depending on the weather. The 3-in-1 also includes an assortment of practical features such as an adjustable draw cord, chin guard, inner pockets, a storm flap, and adjustable, Velcro cuffs. It’s an ideal garment for winter sports or other outdoor activities, and easily adapts to changing conditions. 
Women's%20Fleece

Women's Fleece

Fleece outerwear provides warmth and softness in a lightweight and versatile garment. This synthetic blend is found in pull-on pants, turtleneck vests, hoodies, and casual, zip-up jackets. Fleece is recommended for chilly days or as an extra layer under a light coat on colder days. Fleece pants are appropriate for indoor use, but generally not suitable for outside temperatures. Browse for fleece tops that include a turtleneck or elastic cuffs for cozy warmth. 
Women%e2%80%99s%20Puffers

Women’s Puffers

A puffer coat is instantly recognizable by the quilted or pillowy-looking outer layer that contains the insulation. The squares or rolls, filled with synthetic fibre, goose down or other lofted material, provide warmth and distinctive style without weight. Women’s puffers come as vests, jackets or coats depending on the type of coverage you’re looking for. This look may not be flattering on some since it creates a thick silhouette, but try a lengthier puffer coat to elongate your profile.
Women's%20Parkas

Women's Parkas

A versatile parka is a staple of late fall and winter outerwear due to its balance of style and practicality. Parkas usually have a hood, and length can vary from the hips, mid-thigh, or to the knees. They can be a lightweight or insulated depending on the lining. Some styles feature a trendy, faux fur-lined hood. Parkas in traditional neutral colours such as black, tan, or olive, mesh with just about any outfit and coordinate with all wardrobes.
Women's%20Pea%20Coats

Women's Pea Coats

Pea coats or pea jackets are made of heavy wool for extra warmth that makes them ideal for fall and the beginning of winter. The length can drop to either the upper-thigh or to the knee, and they typically feature a notch collar and double-breasted button closure. The pea coat was originally a men’s garment but adapted to women’s wear by adding a princess seam to accentuate the waist. To get the most use out of your pea coat, try a neutral colour or pattern that’s easy to match with your wardrobe.
Women's%20Bomber%20Jackets

Women's Bomber Jackets

A bomber jacket is a stylish, but casual piece of outerwear. This look has a front zip or button closure, ends at the hips, and features a low collar. It often includes elastic at the cuffs and hem, which keeps in warmth. Bomber jackets are ideal for going out at night when it’s not too cold or layering with a sweater when it is. Padding provides better insulation without detracting from the style. It is not recommended for severe weather or winter sports since the cut is designed for fashion rather than practicality. 
Women's%20Windbreakers

Women's Windbreakers

Windbreakers are known for their wind-resistant, synthetic material and lightweight feel. A hood, zippered pockets, and elastic cuffs are standard options for this style. This is not a coat built for the cold as it lacks insulation or thermal properties, but instead is a suitable choice for chilly, breezy days in the spring or summer. If you’re athletic, try this jacket for early morning jogs, walking the dog or gardening. Windbreakers are not limited to neutral colours due to their sporty style.
Women's%20Denim%20Jackets

Women's Denim Jackets

Denim jackets, also known as jean jackets, are made from denim cloth and typically feature a collar, pockets, and a button closure in the front. This outerwear is an excellent choice as a spring or early fall jacket, but not meant for weather any colder due to the lack of insulation. It matches well with dresses and skirts of any length. Avoid wearing the same colour jeans with your denim jacket or your outfit could end up blending too much. 

Types of Outerwear Cont

Women's%20Gloves

Women's Gloves

Women’s gloves are an essential piece of outerwear when it comes to harsh winter weather or outdoor sports. Sport gloves provide protection with a range of benefits including shock absorption, drying sweaty palms, and a better grip. Fingerless or mesh gloves allow for flexibility. During the heavy, winter months it’s good to have a reliable pair with insulation, outer protection, and a soft, inner lining. Gloves for specific activities such as gardening or driving  have flexible gussets and reinforcement at main stress or friction points.

Women's Outerwear Buying Tips:

• Buy a jacket that complements your height
• A 3-in-1 jacket can be worn three different ways, from fall until spring
• Look for extra insulation if you are not used to cold temperatures
• Invest in a neutral-coloured coat that complements your wardrobe
• Try a belted coat to accentuate your curves

Features

Material +

Fleece and wool are exceptional materials for layering during winter or as a single layer for brisk days. Nylon is a thin, yet strong material suitable for windbreakers. Leather is a solid balance between style and sturdiness. Black leather jackets are a go-to piece of outerwear for seamless coordination with most evening outfits. Suede is a form of leather, but is lightly napped to give it a softer look. Micro fibre is a super-thin material made from polyester and nylon to create a product thinner than silk, which is useful for windbreakers or as an inner lining. Pea coats regularly feature natural wool, spun from the coat of a sheep or lamb. Wool is also used as a lining in winter coats and jackets for excellent insulation.

Thermal Properties +

The thermal properties of outerwear describe the level of insulation and warmth. High-tech thermal properties, embodied in Polartec fleece fabrics, are designed for intense winter sports to provide warmth without weight. Athletic jackets for skiing and snowboarding suit this purpose. Other insulation that isn’t sport-appropriate includes wool and faux fur. A wool coat, such as the pea coat, has such natural thermal properties that insulated lining isn’t required.

Water Resistance +

Water-resistant can be confused with waterproof, but the difference is that a waterproof coat or jacket isn’t necessary unless you’re under water. This material is measured in denier. The higher the denier, the fewer pores there are for water to seep through and the more water-resistant it is. Outerwear with a 70-denier count or higher is a great option for hiking and camping when you’re not sure what kind of weather will surprise you. Three-in-one jackets and windbreakers typically feature a water-resistant shell.

Lining +

Outerwear lining is designed for comfort, insulation, and style. Faux fur, wool, or silk linings are cozy materials for a fall or winter coat. A jacket can have a fun pattern or solid print lining, and a fashionable lining will peek out of the collar, hood, or rolled up cuffs to add detail. Coats meant to provide protection from severe winter conditions should include quality, high-tech thermal insulation.

Hood +

A hood is useful for shielding against wind, rain, or snow. The hoodie is so named for its defining feature, but typically comes in a soft, jersey fabric. Water-resistant material Is recommended for athletic hoodies. Some coats and jackets feature a detachable hood attached by a snap, zip, or button closure. A three-piece hood is cut and sewn from three separate pieces of material for a more ergonomic fit. Some hooded jackets feature stylish trims along the hood or a draw cord for adjusting the size.

Pockets +

Pockets are a practical detail either on the inside or outside of your coat or jacket. Inner pockets are handy for personal items such as a passport, but any pocket dedicated to valuables should have a snap or zipper closure. Outer pockets are storage for winter gloves or, if well-lined, to warm your hands. Coat pockets on the outside are normally flap, slash or welt-style and do not have closures.

Neckline +

Coat or jacket necklines can be collarless, feature a turtleneck, or a classic collar. Coats with a notch collar such as the trench or pea coat add a stylish, yet professional touch and can give you greater neck coverage by lifting the collar of the coat. Some jackets, such as most bombers and windbreakers, can adjust from a turtleneck to a traditional collar with a zip closure. High-collared jackets are recommended for athletic activities.

Accents +

Some coats with thick insulation or material add a draw cord at the waistline to flatter your curves. Metal studs look chic on leather jackets or other evening outerwear. Print or bold- coloured trim on a jacket is a tasteful touch. Zippered cuffs allow you to turn up sleeves for a stylish accent or in fluctuating temperatures. Gold-coloured zippers bring more bling to your outerwear than silver/metal finishes.

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Outerwear Care Tips:

• Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for care and cleaning
• Hang your jackets and coats on sturdy hangers that maintain their shape
• Treat your leather jacket with a leather care product before wearing it
• Use a lint or suede brush to remove surface grime from winter coats
• Never bleach or use extremely hot water on wool
• Blot a stain on a wool coat or jacket with cold water or club soda
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This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.

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